20 Things PRs Should Know About Bloggers

8

Pr tips food bloggers

The vast majority of Foodies100 bloggers want to work with brands.

And by and large, this is a positive experience. We love testing new ingredients, visiting new restaurants, trying out new kitchen gadgets and meeting with fellow bloggers.

But over and over again, we see our members voicing the same frustrations about brands, SEO agencies and PR agencies.

We understand there are frustrations on both sides, but we hope that sharing some of our most commonly heard comments about blog outreach will be useful to our PR and marketing readers. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section – how could brands make the blog outreach process easier and more productive for you? Do you think there are things BLOGGERS can do to help themselves?

  1. We talk to each other and share information. So if you are paying bloggers different rates for the same work (or not paying someone) we will probably get to hear about it.
  2. Bloggers know you’re being paid to contact us (it’s not a secret) so don’t be surprised if a blogger also wants to be paid.
  3. Asking a blogger to review a PDF of a book can seem insulting – certainly, it’s nice to have something tangible as a reward when we go to the effort of reviewing something.
  4. We don’t think that your client giving us “exposure” is a substitute for being properly compensated for our work.
  5. We don’t all insist on being paid for EVERY activity – we’ll often do things without a payment because they sound like really good fun.
  6. Please understand that for many bloggers, this is not a full-time job. Chasing coverage two days after sending a sample is unlikely to end well.
  7. If you are under pressure to deliver coverage quickly then tell us when you send a sample – by and large we’re a helpful bunch and will let you know before accepting if we can meet your requirement.
  8. Bloggers will rarely welcome pre-written articles and content – by and large, we’re not sort of things to write about.
  9. We love running competitions and giveaways but they take time to put together. Offering a second prize for the blogger as a thanks is a much-appreciated gesture.
  10. If a blogger is running a competition don’t send the prize to the blogger and expect them to send it to the winner –  postage is expensive and nobody wants to waste their lunch hour queueing at the Post Office.
  11. We know that social media follows have a real value, and brands have a digital budget, if you want us to secure new followers/likes as part of a competition, we may well ask for payment.
  12. Use less packaging! Bloggers receive a crazy amount of post, and so much is packed in non-recyclable, non-biodegradable packaking – it’s hugely wasteful and rather depressing.
  13. We love surprises, but if you send a blogger something unsolicited, be prepared for the fact that they may not review it, for all sorts of reasons.
  14. If you are considering working with a blog, we aren’t offended when you ask for stats or a media pack to show your client.
  15. Please spend some time reading our blogs so you can personalise your approach – you’d be surprised how often meat retailers will pitch a vegetarian blog!
  16. Emails starting with “Dear Blogger” don’t create the best first impression.
  17. Bloggers love to take part in challenges and competitions but it really has to be worth our while – expecting us to compete for the chance to win a £50 ironing board isn’t going to fire up our creative juices!
  18. Don’t email telling me you loved my recipe for [insert link from other site]. We understand mistakes happen, but do take care when using mail merge!
  19. Don’t ask bloggers to compromise their ethics. Asking a blogger to only post positive content, or to not mention a payment is potentially damaging to the blogger, your client and your agency. See also point 1 – bloggers will tell other bloggers when this sort of thing happens.
  20. The vast majority of bloggers are very well versed in guidelines from the ASA and OFT, as well as Google’s terms and conditions. Don’t assume you can fudge the issue of disclosure by telling bloggers they don’t need to know this stuff.

 

What would you add to this list?

 

(This post was partly written by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours)

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion8 Comments

  1. Excellent points, all of which I’ve had to raise at one time or another, except for some reason, the packaging. It is so annoying and I hate waste, so I’m rather surprised at myself for not mentioning this. Will try and take this one on board.

    Thanks for another useful post we can refer PRs to.

  2. Couple of times I had a chance to deal with not honestest PRs that tried to send less than we have agreed on at first so I would like to add 3 things:

    If the prize is money voucher make sure to send correct amount to the winner, trying to send only half hurts both blogger’s and your client’s reputation.

    Don’t expect blogger to purchase the product for review from their own pocket promising they will be refunded later.

    If you ask blogger to choose something for review from the look book send the product they have asked for or voucher for the correct amount of money (not quarter).

  3. This is a great list and many thanks for putting it together. I am frequently amazed by PRs who approach me with the assumption that it would be a privilege for me to promote their brand for no recompense. When I respond with the question, ‘Whats your budget?’ many don’t have the decency to reply, let alone give a figure. If brands want our audience, then it is reasonable that they should pay for it, either in cash or goods. It is obviously a blogger’s duty to ensure that these payments are clearly identified, but also a PR’s duty to realise that we know that our blogs have a value to their clients, otherwise they wouldn’t be approaching us in the first place. But we also know, as your list states, that there is a ‘digital budget’. None of us expects anything more than pin money out of this game, but pin money can pay for a decent trip to the shops for a special night in.

  4. Fees are now starting to be considerably more than pin money and professional bloggers should ask for professional fees. Brands are now paying upwards of £250 for quality recipes plus expenses, and £250 plus to make a video.

    I also know that many PRs are caught in a place between what a brand is asking for and what bloggers expect, and I always explain why I ask for a fee for certain types of work so they can show the document to their client to help explain the changing landscape to them.

    Two more points to add to the list above are

    If we create a recipe using your product please do not be offended we ask for a fee for you to reproduce it on your client’s website. Alternatively bloggers will be happy for a thumbnail image, excerpt and link to our site for the full recipe.

    We have busy lives and cannot wait in everyday for deliveries. If you agree to deliver samples on a given date please let us know as soon as possible if this is going to change. I try and coordinate everything for one day per week – with perishables it is essential that we know when items are coming.

  5. I don’t think i have had any particularly bad PR’s merely mis informed or unwilling. Although when I asked on PR for payment when they wanted me to put links and ads on my site they just cut me off completely. Bloggers work very hard and is a second job to most So getting a fir and just reward for your work is only fair.

    One thing that really gets me is the whole ‘your readers will love this’ line. NO NO and NO is all I can say, even I don’t always knows what my readers want, I can make an educated guess in the sense I always know my controversial posts do well, and my cake recipes seem to do well, but a pr telling me what my readers want? no thanks. I usually hit the delete button if I see that in an email.

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